As the world continues to grapple with the urgent need to address climate change and protect our planet’s resources, sustainability has become a key priority for businesses, governments, and individuals alike, with technology emerging as a critical tool for reaching these goals.
In 2023, we can expect to see three major sustainability trends emerge, driven by innovators who are educating audiences, creating new technologies, and pioneering adoption to build a more sustainable future. Below are a few of the top sustainability trends to watch this year.
Embracing the concept of a circular economy means rethinking the way we produce and consume goods and services, with the goal of eliminating waste and creating a more sustainable world. Technology can play a key role in the development of new materials, products, and business models that prioritize reuse and recycling. In 2023, we expect to see more companies and organizations, particularly in industries such as fashion, electronics, and packaging, looking to adopt circular economy principles. Innovators to watch include:
- Loop Industries, a clean technology company that can upcycle plastic waste into high-quality, food-grade packaging to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Paptic, a manufacturing company that has a new wood-based alternative to traditional plastic packaging materials.
- TerraCycle, an environmental services company partnering with brands to recycle difficult-to-recycle materials, such as coffee capsules and cigarette butts.
- AMP Robotics, a renewable energy company applying AI and robotics to modernize recycling infrastructure and economically recover commodities reclaimed as raw materials for the global supply chain.
The urgent need to address climate change has led many companies and governments to commit to becoming carbon neutral. Technology will be a critical enabler in achieving this goal, through the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies and the optimization of energy systems.
This year, we’ll see more companies and governments investing in renewable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency technologies, as well as in carbon capture and technologies that can remove carbon from the atmosphere. A few of the most innovative companies in this space include:
- Breezy Point Energy, a renewable energy company producing concept-to completion infrastructure solutions that will provide around-the-clock renewable energy with a zero-carbon footprint.
- CarbonCure, a construction company that has developed a technology that injects captured carbon dioxide into concrete, transforming concrete plants into a network of carbon removal factories.
- Carbon Engineering, a clean-energy company that captures CO2 directly from the air and synthesizes it into clean, affordable transportation fuel.
- Echogen, a renewable energy company that has developed a waste heat recovery system that can generate clean electricity from industrial processes.
- Heliogen, a renewable energy technology company eliminating the need for fossil fuels through a concentrated solar power AI technology that generates high-temperature heat.
- eViation, an aviation and aerospace manufacturing company has developed an all-electric aircraft offering an alternative to fuel-powered flight.
- MagniX, an aviation and aerospace manufacturing company is enabling a new era of aviation through all-electric propulsion units (EPUs).
- Arkeon, a biotechnology research startup converting CO2 into functional, carbon-negative ingredients for food.
The loss of biodiversity is a major threat to our planet, with implications for everything from food security to climate stability. Technology will play a critical role in driving biodiversity conservation, through the development of new tools and approaches that enable sustainable land use and reduce pollution.
In 2023, we can expect more innovation around precision agriculture and remote sensing, which can help optimize land use and reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture and forestry. A few of the most innovative companies in this space include:
- Indigo Agriculture, a farming company using cutting-edge technology to enable sustainable agriculture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Ocean Infinity, a maritime transportation company that has developed autonomous underwater vehicles to map and monitor the world’s oceans.
- Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit organization leveraging biomimicry, the practice of learning from and emulating natural systems, to solve sustainability challenges.
- MicroHabitat, an environmental services company aiming to create greener and more resilient cities through urban agriculture.
- BionicHIVE, an autonomous vehicle company using advanced technology, such as drones and artificial intelligence, to monitor and restore ecosystems.
- EarthOptics, an information technology company building the soil Cloud and developing tools that help farmers more sustainably manage their soil, increase yields and feed the growing world.
- InnerPlant, a biotechnology research company that gives plants a voice through technology enabling crops to communicate their needs, such as more Nitrogen or help if they are being attacked by pathogens or insects.
- Liberation Labs, a manufacturing company formed to address the growing fermentation capacity gap in cellular agriculture by providing the industry with the infrastructure to commercialize novel protein manufacturing at the scale and cost structure required by the market.
It’s clear that the world is at a critical juncture when it comes to sustainability. Climate change, resource depletion, and biodiversity loss are all major challenges that require urgent action. However, we have reason to be hopeful thanks to the ingenuity and creativity of innovators across the globe. From cutting-edge technologies to groundbreaking initiatives, these companies and organizations are paving the way to a brighter future for our planet and all of us.
For more information about our work in sustainable and responsible technology, learn about our IMPACT practice.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based PR agency with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.